Wolverines Really Didn’t Deserve BCS Bowl Win, or Bid in the first Place

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It was kind of ridiculous that both the ACC and the Big Ten got two BCS bids this year when each conference only deserved one. Of course, that’s nothing compared to #23 West Virginia getting an Orange Bowl bid when the Big East clearly didn’t deserve it’s automatic qualifier this year; or last year for that matter.

The Michigan Wolverines didn’t deserve to be in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl so it’s very fitting they won the game in the manner in which they did. UM defeated the Virginia Tech Hokies 23-20 in OT despite being outgained by more than double (377-184). And they won the game on a field goal in which their kicker committed a false start, or at least an illegal motion penalty that was not called.

That was set up by Virginia Tech having a TD reception called back again, a very questionable call.

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#16 Nebraska vs. #18 Michigan: Brutally Honest Game Preview

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In both the present and the future these two teams matter much for Big Ten. The loser between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Michigan Wolverines is officially eliminated from the conference title. The winner stands as the #2 should Sparty falter down the stretch, and would grab the trip to Indianapolis in place of Michigan State. That’s the short term.

In the long run, these two programs will have to carry the league flag for awhile. There are only four big traditional powers in the Big Ten, and these two right here will need to step up while the other two (Ohio State and Penn State) are in disarray for a few years. Of course, the level of disarray and the fallout yet to come is a million times worse at PSU.

Coincidentally, the two scandalous league powers play each other this Saturday. While the two “clean” powers do battle with each other as well. I’m sure league officials are really glad now that Nebraska joined, and that Michigan seems to have turned the corner.

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Wolverines Much Closer to Becoming a “Michigan Defense”

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“We are getting close to becoming that “Michigan” defense that we have talked about,” Wolverines cornerback J.T. Floyd said after the crushing of the Illini on Saturday.

“We still have some things we need to clean up, which we can do through watching film and practice next week.”

That’s how they talk in the program surrounding Ann Arbor. “Play Michigan football,” be a “Michigan Defense;” those are common catch-phrases within the team.

After allowing 35.2 points per game in 2010, Michigan’s defense is allowing 15.5 points per game through 10 games in 2011, ranking 2nd in the Big Ten and 5th in the nation in scoring defense. Hard to believe this is just one year after Michigan was ranked near the bottom in almost all relevant defensive categories among all FBS teams. What a difference in Gregs makes! Mattison is has been a total 180 from Robinson as a defensive coordinator.

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Michigan Has Emerging Star at Tailback in Fitzgerald Toussaint

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No matter what team you root for in college football, you have to admit it’s cool that the Michigan Wolverines have both Fitzgerald and Hemingway playing the offensive skill positions for them. We’ve profiled wide receiver Junior Hemingway, who’s had “A Movable Feast” of receiving yards this season.

Now we profile Fitzgerald Toussaint who ran for a career-high high 192 yards on 27 carries yesterday (previous high was 170 yards versus Purdue) and a fourth-quarter TD that ended any remote chances hope of an Illini comeback. Toussaint came out of the gates strong, going 65 yards on his second carry; 121 yards rushing after one quarter.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said “Action is Character.” Fitzgerald running for 8 yards shy of 200 versus Illinois, the nation’s 15th ranked run defense (6th overall defense) defined his character yesterday.

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Your Denard Robinson Wrist Injury Update

Denard Robinson

For the Michigan Wolverines offense, tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint was the bellcow, finishing the 31-14 win over the Illini with 192 yards rushing on 27 carries; two touchdowns.

Single threat quarterback Denard Robinson had two rushing touchdowns to go with 42 yards on the ground, on 11 attempts. He threw 6-11 for 91 yards and two picks, although one was an end of half desperation heave, so I don’t really count that as an interception- even though it goes in the books as one.

Robinson left the game early with a injury of some sort and it did not return. Continue after the jump to learn his status.

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Michigan Wolverines Shut Down Illini; Win Low-Scoring Big 10 Affair

67-65 in multiple overtimes this was not. This meeting between the Illini and Wolverines was much less “college basketball on AstroPlay” than last year. Michigan still won; this time with a different style.

Out of the gates Michigan dominated. They held a 172-13 yardage advantage after one quarter of play; 249-30 at the half. UM tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint had 121 yards rushing, on just three carries at the end of the first period. Yet the Michigan lead was only 14 at intermission.

The Memorial Stadium attendance was 60,676, a sellout- first one this season. And they had reason to come alive when the Illini cut it to 17-7 on Nathan Scheelhaase‘s TD run. However, that optimism was short-lived when Scheelhaase threw a pick-six on the next Illini offensive series.

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#24 Michigan Wolverines v. Illinois Fighting Illini: Brutally Honest Game Preview

In my lifetime, Illinois has beaten Michigan at home just twice- in 1983 and 2009. For some reason, the Illini don’t have a home field advantage versus the Wolverines or the Ohio State Buckeyes. Part of it is my alma mater has issues selling tickets to college football games.

If you can’t sell out a game versus Ohio St, when you’re undefeated and nationally ranked in the top 15, then when can you sell out? Michigan is starting to stumble a bit after a fast start, and they’re getting Illinois at the right time.

Or are they? The Illini had a bye week to prepare for this, and have to be feeling a sense of urgency. They started out 6-0 and now find themselves projected to the Pizza Bowl in Detroit. Uhm yeah, time to start winning some more games.

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Michigan State Spartans Win National Weekly Award

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Beating their “big brother” and in-state rival for the fourth consecutive time, and also assuming the driver seat of legends division race propelled the Michigan State Spartans (5-1) to earn the Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 15.

Keshawn Martin scored twice in the third quarter, redeeming himself for his dropped touchdown pass on the first Sparty drive of the game. And the Spartans held off the Wolverines late for a 28-14 win, matching Michigan State’s longest win streak in the series since a four-game win streak from 1959-62.

Michigan Suffers 1st Season Loss at Michigan St. Still Have Cool New Uniforms

Just like I predicted on Thursday morning, the #23 Michigan State Spartans pulled the upset over the #11 Michigan Wolverines. It’s the first loss of the season for UM, and their fourth in a row to State. Little brother no more? And entire graduating class of Spartans is now undefeated against their in-state rivalry.

But hey Michigan still has some really cool new retro uniforms (more on that later). MSU used a big 14 point third quarter to win 28-14 and take control of the Legends division in the Big Ten. The winner of this game has the inside track to representing the division in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis.

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#11 Michigan Wolverines vs. #23 Michigan State Spartans: Brutally Honest Game Preview

Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans, the battle for Great Lakes State supremacy.

Basically, if you’re a college football fan who lives in the Upper Midwest, and you don’t have a boner (figuratively, not literally of course) for this game then…..you are a terrorist. There is no question about it, you’re not with us, but with the terrorists.

As relevant a national game as any this weekend, as heated a rivalry as any, story-lines galore:

the “little brother has won the last three, the big brother looks to finally be ready to move out of his parents basement now after losing his job and gaining some weight the past few years. And only one loss combined with the two teams. Let’s get it on!

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Michigan WR Junior Hemingway: A Movable Feast of Receiving Yards

Coming into the 2011 season, it was thought Roy Roundtree would be the go-to guy for the Michigan Wolverines receiving corps. After all, he broke the school record for single game receiving yards (246) versus the Illini last year and fell just 65 yards shy of a 1,000 yard season.

But Roundtree only has 8 grabs for 127 yards on the season and it’s senior Junior Hemingway who’s been THE GUY. Hemingway’s 26.1 yards/catch average leads the Big Ten; second in all of college football.  For Hemingway it’s been “the Old Man and the YAC” or “A Farewell to PBUs” or “For Whom the Blown Coverage tolls.”

(Tell me when to stop because I can do this all day. If Fitzgerald Toussaint were to develop into a dominating offensive weapon, watch out- I’d be dropping F. Scott Fitzgerald references all day.”
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Michigan’s Denard Robinson: Overrated, Below Average Passer

Denard Robinson

Michigan Wolverines QB Denard Robinson is exciting and fun to watch. But he’s not a “dual threat quarterback.” That term is getting thrown around by the media way too liberally these days. Literally, it means a signal caller that can both pass and run effectively. But the way it’s applied, it really means any QB who’s a great runner.

Technically, both Denard and Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez are “single threat” QBs because both are electric runners, but neither can actually pass the ball very well.

So please stop the talk about why Denard’s just a phenomenal, transcendent type player. I’ll go into detail on why he’s extremely substandard as a thrower.

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